Tag Archives: Summer 2021

The Piano Lesson by Carole Duff

Photo of open piano with music sheets

Carole Duff has earned an Honorable Mention in Streetlight’s 2021 Essay/Memoir Contest   “I love a piano, I love a piano, I love to hear somebody play . . .” From Irving Berlin’s Stop! Look! Listen! Soon after moving into our first house, my husband and I purchased a piano. It was a Belarus reproduction of a Yamaha upright with a shiny, red-brown acrylic finish. One of my husband’s university colleagues knew a Russian musician and piano tuner who knew an immigrant couple who wanted to sell their piano. In the late 70s, they were … Continue reading The Piano Lesson by Carole Duff

Tennessee, 2004 by Eric Forsbergh

old bone set atop small stone tower

…..I’m as independent as a hog on ice, and if they don’t let me alone they will be sorry for it. ………………..Journal of Private Sarah Wakeman A Spring plowing incident when something gleams. Oblivion unearthed, a brass buckle bears US. The tractor falls quiet. Only insects hiss. A shovel scrapes a bone. Then two. The coroner assembles all the requisites. From the shallow grave, dirt is troweled away. A small man, maybe a drummer boy. A skeleton, alone, hands composed. Forensics is surprised to find a woman, pelvis telling much. No birth but death. No … Continue reading Tennessee, 2004 by Eric Forsbergh

Peeling Squash by Mark Belair

field of squash with mountains

We had the whole summer afternoon to peel squash in the cool of the barn, me and Mike and Old Ed, the tenant farmer before Mike who still dropped by from time to time in clean overalls to check on the progress of the crops. Mike asked Ed, as I rose to drink freezing water from a dusty black hose, about an old stooped woman he might remember, but Ed couldn’t remember; well, anyway, Mike said, she came back and without even asking set herself to picking fudge just like she used to. Fudge grew … Continue reading Peeling Squash by Mark Belair

Taxonomic Confessions by Nate Braeuer

Silhouette of man against dusky sky

  I mix up the names of common furniture pieces like cupboards and cabinets, closets and shelves And bureaus. And Ursas, both major and minor Armoires. To know only of somethingness— I can’t name one star and I’ve waited so long for these cupped hands to dip they’ve grown stoic I lie down in night frost            the twin clotheslines above cross like high wires                         for timid constellations I feel space like I’ve reached              the cold region of a cabinet— I watch keyholes flicker starlight                         from a closet If I could rise … Continue reading Taxonomic Confessions by Nate Braeuer

The Tree by Betty Moffett

Photo of hole in tree's bark

There’s this Tree. It’s a Cottonwood. It’s been there longer than forever, a gentle, generous tower on the long green lawn in front of the dorms. Three decades ago, when I was still teaching at the college, I recruited a few of my students to help me measure its trunk—not in feet but in arm-spans. It took six of us, holding hands, stretching our arms, and pressing our faces to its rough bark to complete the circle around the tree. I invited them to imagine what the tree had witnessed—protests against Vietnam, intense games of … Continue reading The Tree by Betty Moffett

The Hidden Curriculum by Naomi Raquel Enright

Photo of chairs in classroom

Naomi Raquel Enright has earned an Honorable Mention in Streetlight’s 2021 Essay/Memoir Contest I am the brown-skinned, biological mother of a son presumed to be white. My mother is Ecuadorian and my father was Jewish American. I was raised to name and understand racism and was taught that the racism I experience is because of an ideology of racial difference that systematically privileges and protects whiteness while simultaneously disenfranchising and criminalizing blackness and brownness. Even before I had the language to describe this understanding, I knew it was an ideology and a system that I … Continue reading The Hidden Curriculum by Naomi Raquel Enright

Hunting Gems and Pamplona, Virginia, 2 poems by James Swansbrough

Photo of man and child climbing mountain

Hunting Gems I don’t comprehend the chemistry of how geodes form but their creation makes enough sense for my layman mind to teach an abridged version to my daughter: Some rocks may look dull, but many have secret hollows inside. If water and minerals can creep in and dry, over time they can grow into the beautiful crystals they are now. There’s a lesson in that for her, I’ll think. Something about humility and patience or about finding unexpected splendor on the inside. But I won’t share the metaphor with her no matter how inspiring … Continue reading Hunting Gems and Pamplona, Virginia, 2 poems by James Swansbrough

Little Betrayals and Not Exactly Genesis, 2 poems by Claire Scott

Photo of old man walking with girl

Little Betrayals I was six I knew he had a quarter in his pocket I knew it was mine if when he roared who is the greatest grandpapa of all and the silver and Wedgewood china on table shook and the Irish maids ghosted by in starched uniforms and the chauffeur polished the silver Lincoln Continental and my grandmother tended to the terra cotta pots of pink and white orchids in the gazebo and my face flamed and I yelled Grandpapa looking down at my poodle skirt its rhinestone eye staring   Not Exactly Genesis … Continue reading Little Betrayals and Not Exactly Genesis, 2 poems by Claire Scott

Podcast: Erebus by Patrick Christie

podcast fiction

Streetlight Voices: Short Fiction & Memoir · Erebus by Patrick Christie   Podcast: The threat is getting closer. A fictional story performed by Joe Guay. Read the story online: Erebus by Patrick Christie Joe Guay has been a professional voice actor for over fifteen years, providing voice for companies like LG, Intel, Deloitte, Novartis, EY, PG&E, Infiniti Motors, Fairmont Hotels and others. A sometimes-theatre-actor and avid reader, Joe savors the return to storytelling and creativity involved in voice acting for Streetlight Magazine—it’s a nice break from the corporate stuff. Check out www.JoeGuayVoiceover.com. Follow us!

Russel Square by Andrew Hanson

Photo of stone gateway

Fate is read in the routes of the snails that methodically spell their own names in the park. Leaves shrivel and shiver off of white birch trees. Alongside an old church, pigeons storm a sliver of stale bread that once was communion, and the sounds of taxis and Ubers buzz by the parks as the partitioned paths of bees. Nervously, an academic and the pipes of the chemistry department share a smoke, while the pipes’ rusty stubble snags the cool evening’s light. The goldfinch warbles choirlike before it swoops in to cull a butterfly stuck … Continue reading Russel Square by Andrew Hanson